Letter – Since we’re naming stuff …
Published 6:58 pm Tuesday, September 6, 2022
Editor, The Smithfield Times:
This week the Isle of Wight County School Board will vote to name the Career and Technical Education Building after Dr. Jim Thornton. This was scheduled to be voted on in the July meeting but was removed from the agenda.
We now know the Board Chair signed the amended contract with a blank for “transition appropriations.” And at least one board member could not get a clear answer on the amount of compensation that would be awarded. Dr. Thornton ultimately received over $91,000 for the privilege of quitting his contract a year early.
Two months later, in a letter to the parents of IWCS, Dr. Thornton told us he would be forced to cut 15 positions if the Board of Supervisors didn’t rubber stamp his budget on time. He failed to mention the part about his duping an incompetent school board for $91,000. Seems to me that $91,000 is more than enough recognition for his time as superintendent.
If he were to do something outside his job description to support the CTE building, like donating $91,000, he might deserve additional recognition. Otherwise, he was just doing his job, for which he was clearly well compensated.
However, if this board wants to go down this road, may I suggest a few other resolutions? Why not create the Michael Vines Center for Ethical Behavior and Truthiness, recognizing his holding misquoting journalists accountable and profound honesty in public statements. Or maybe the Renee Dial Institute for Hypocrisy in COVID Standards, in honor of her stance to mask children if only for “0.1% more protection” and not allowing “books to trump her experience” while attending social functions maskless in her capacity as a school board member.
And lastly, the Denise Tynes School of Ambiguous Transparency for her work in keeping the Thornton contract amendment in the dark, being the defendant party on three FOIA lawsuits, and protecting the public from viewing Powerpoints that included examples of the explicit material that our children have access to on their school-provided devices.